My quiltsMy 2001 Grant ProjectSociety for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake

Saturday, August 25, 2001  
I guess I'm over the original panic whilest quilting on the NYQuilts! raffle quilt. If you want to tag along in the process go here. I think it's coming along quite well. I'm in a hurry only because I need to finish two of my own quilts for the same show in October and the rest of the grant quilts for the first show in November! eeeks. Oh yeah, and start a new job.

Written at: 4:03:38 PM

Enough of this job search weirdness.

Had to go to the post office today, and it was closed until 2 pm, which gave me a great excuse to hang out in East Nassau and take photos for awhile. Click here for a new screen or go here.

Written at: 1:28:05 AM

Friday, August 24, 2001  
Earlier this evening I received an email that gave me deja vu all over again (See Aug 20 entry), and I responded as follows, after I had emailed Aon corp demanding an explanation:

X-Received: 25 Aug 2001 00:13:28 GMT
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 20:13:17 EDT
Subject: interview info
To: mgoodman@abc

Upon reviewing your resume, I would like to schedule an interview with you for a career, sales or management trainee position. I am interviewing in the Albany, NY., area for a few positions, Monday, August  27 & Tuesday, August 28 from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm. When would you be available ? The interviews will be held at The Clarion Hotel and Suites, 611 Troy-Schenectady Rd., Latham, NY 12110. Telephone 518-785-5891. Please feel free to visit our website at, Please return an e-mail of your availability . I look forward to meeting with you.

Thanks you,
Debbie Norton

My reply:

Monday, I had a rather strange experience with people purporting to be recruiting for your company and in fact, just sent a letter regarding the experience to the VP of Human Resources at Aon. It started out with an email just like you've sent me. Isn't that fascinating?

I am not interested in sales positions, which one person conducting interviews on Monday indicated to me were the only positions available. Furthermore, I found some of the questions on the application form to be unprofessional, non-pertinant to job performance and bordering on harrassment.

Not sure what sort of campaign you're running, but it strikes me as more than peculiar.

I will be pursuing this, since I feel that it is not about hiring me, but probably more to do with selling me whatever you have to sell. I have just sent an email to Aon with a copy of your email indicating that I will pursue this matter with the NYS Attorney General's office if I do not hear from them directly.

Further, I have posted to the message boards at about this experience and will be keeping them apprised of the situation.

Mary Beth Goodman

About an hour later, if that, believe it or not, emailer Debbie Norton from ??Aon?? called to find out what could possibly have made me so upset. I told her I had already contacted higher ups in the company and would await hearing from them.

no no no, no sales. She is recruiting.

I mentioned the highly unprofessional questions on the "application." She wondered what I could possibly be talking about. I allowed that if she didn't know, I couldn't help her.

It did come out that the reason the email was identical was because the man who had previously contacted me and arranged Monday's interview had given it to her to use and that he had trained her. I had the impression she had just started. She also knew the person who wanted to keep my form (steve) and allowed as she "didn't interview anything like him."

"Please call me if there's anything I can do for you." Don't think so hon. Think I'll wait and see what your home office says.

Totally bizarre. Feels like some really bad b movie. Maybe "return of the high-pressured pod people"!

Geesh, in the last days of my unemployment (hurry up Apple and send me the paperwork PLEASE) my life is turning into some weird soap opera of job seeking.

Written at: 11:10:10 PM

I forgot to mention that the quilting is further along than what is shown here and in the link. Tonight I finished: the hearts in the vases and flowers, the first big circle of feathers and the first feathered corner. Cool beans! Doing the center lily block flower was not pretty, and especially not easy. If I have time I'll go back and do a few fixes. No fixes until it's all done though, that's the sort of time constraint I'm under here.

Back to work now for a little while.

Written at: 12:18:06 AM

well, I'm taking a hopefully short break from the grant quilts to get the NYQuilts! raffle quilt quilted. Pat put in quite a bit of time putting the top together. I know she really did more un-sewing and re-sewing than is good for a person's morale, but it came out looking great. She wasn't undoing her own work - one of the downsides of doing a "group" project.

anyway, we got it layered and pinned on Tuesday. I just put up some photos so she could see them and thought I'd share them here too.

vase from lily block Carolina Lily Block

Want to see more?

Written at: 12:07:10 AM

Thursday, August 23, 2001  
There is apparently no way to successfully translate "Bill, sorry, there are no liver treats" into something that cats will pretend to understand.

speaking slowly: BILL........

I'm reminded of that great FarSide cartoon - what dogs hear: blah blah blah blah Ginger! blah blah blah Ginger! what cats hear: (empty balloon)

Poor Bill the cat - he REALLY has a liver treat jones. Either that or he's serving as spokescat for the herd. Bill, there are NO liver treats. blah blah blah TREATS.

Written at: 1:00:44 AM

Wednesday, August 22, 2001  
Yes, I wrote a letter. And the letter I wrote was to the VP of Human Resources at Aon, Inc. about a "" target="_blank">Monday's little fiasco. I went back and looked at the emails sent to me AND the form I was given to fill out and found that (as I remembered) that I was told to check out the web site, but the form was for "Combined" which is an ?? affiliate? subsidiary? something or other.

Since the form didn't say "Combined Insurance, Inc" at the top - only "Combined -- Application for Employment" I stupidly assumed it was combined, I don't know, application and interview notes?

Let's put it this way. I couldn't find any reference on the Aon site to Combined. On the Combined site, it was obviously the same web design and I think there was mention of Aon. Combined certainly did have their own employment listings. (and management positions were listed there as well as sales).

Anyway, my letter deals with the pointing me towards the Aon site and not the Combined site and then to the really bogus questions on the application form. And to the fact that this guy had told me there was a possible array of jobs available and when I arrived it was only sales.

By the time I got done with the letter I was totally creeped out about the whole thing. And I mentioned that frankly, I had NO way of knowing, sitting there in a hotel lobby, if these two men actually worked for Aon, Combined or anyone else for that matter. How weird is that? I might NEVER go on an interview in a hotel lobby again! And I will certainly ask for company ID next time I'm anywhere but on company premises. Geesh.

This VP was the ONLY even vaguely HR related name/title I could find. On the Aon site of course it lists the Board and the Management heads and that's where she was listed. It was even hard to find a real address for these people and there was NO email addresses given. I think one phone number.

I'll be interested to see if I get a response at all.

Written at: 10:07:25 PM

Another day, another interview. People who think - ooooh she's unemployed - so she's goofing off, lounging around, doing nothing....... WRONG. This job search thing is a grind. Yes, you don't stay on task 24/7, at least I don't. But the constant selling yourself, waiting, interviewing and rejection is wearing. Or shall I say, shall I compare it to a waring blender?

Today's interview was certainly better than Monday's non-interview, and sounded like interesting work. I might have been one of the first interviewed. Decision next week. Nice to meet the director of this local non-profit for sure.

Now - the darned NYQ! raffle quilt from hell. I intend to be well launched into its quilting by tonight. Onward!

Written at: 3:01:55 PM

Monday, August 20, 2001  

This may be the first time I have ever walked out of an interview before it started!

I went, I was a little early. I was told to go knock on a door just off the lobby. The door was slightly ajar but it seemed like there was more than one person inside.

I decided I'd wait a bit in the lobby until it was closer to the time. I went and sat down. There was a man and a young woman sitting at a cafe-like table out in the lobby and I suddenly realized that this was an interview going on and that, yes indeedy, it was for the company I was there to interview with. I moved so I was less in the center of the room.

My impression, not listenng to every word, was that the position being talked about was sales, big potential salary numbers etc. The interviewer did about 90% of the talking, which I take as a bad sign no matter what.

When the time came for my interview they were nowhere near finished, so I thought I'd casually try again the door I'd been sent to. Still noisy inside. But indeed the man who contacted me came out, wondering why I hadn't made contact with the other interviewer (still talking with candidate). He got me an application and I was told to take my time filling it out.

Name address serial number. How much money did I require to live on per month? Did I have another source of income?


Had I ever worked a second job? worked while attending school full time?


Next page (of four) - Drivers license. any accidents? Name of Insurance Co. Amount of liability carried.


Much space for employment history.

Now they're really getting on my nerves. I really hate when they want you to bring copies of your resume but they ALSO want you to fill out some dorky form with all the same information. And I'm no longer providing salary history to anyone, regardless.

Page four - what I'm looking for in a job. Interesting - normally that's an interview question. Why I think I'll be good at sales.

Definitely not.

I put away my pen. The lobby interviewer comes over. I ask - can I attach a copy of my resume rather than filling out all this center part? Oh, I don't know - is it up to date? duh.

So I try another question: why are all the questions on the back only about sales positions? well that would be because that's the job being interviewed for. Very interesting since that's not what I was told. I had also gone through my records and seen that I had applied for a customer service job in one part of their company awhile ago. He repeats that this is only for sales jobs.

Nope sorry - see ya around. He says: I'll just take the application.... Ha! I don't think so.

And I left.

LOL - what a waste of time. But how empowering. Wonder what the other fellow thought when he came out to see how the interview was going or went.

So I went over to the mall to see where the Apple store would be. Right across from Macy's from what I could tell. Then I came home.

Now I'm ready to start sewing again.

Written at: 8:45:10 PM

OK, so WHAT the heck is this all about - three calls for interviews this week!?! after weeks of neglect, now that I have an offer, I'm appealing? desireable?

Story of my life!

Been there. Done that. Thought it was weird at the time.

Written at: 2:31:14 PM

One of my favorite cook books was given to me as a wedding gift. Originally printed in 1970, it's worth keeping an eye out for a copy in a used book sale or even online:

America's Best Vegetable Recipes (666 Ways to Make Vegetables Irresistible) By the Food Editors of Farm Journal.

when I went to look up a link for it, I laughed to find that there was one for auction (ends 08/25/2001 16:05:26 PDT) and it has a minimum bid of $12. Worth every penny if you ask me, despite the fact that the original price is $5.95 on the dust jacket!

Get yours while they last!

Written at: 10:49:30 AM

Didn't have my corn oysters yet, but this morning for breakfast I had a sort of corn-egg scramble: Saute a half small onion in a bit of butter. when it becomes translucent looking, add one cob's worth of corn, (cut off carefully with no cob. Scrape the cob too). Saute a few minutes until corn starts to cook.

Add two eggs scrambled with a bit of water. Stir to keep eggs scrambled. Add one big slice of tomato diced. Top with 3-4 thin slices of cheddar and fresh pepper.


Written at: 10:41:07 AM

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